Fuel scarcity: Why oil markers can't be punished - Kachikwu

FG plans to increase fuel price to N180 per litre

Nigeria has no plan to hike petrol price – Minister

Asked to comment on the decision by the President to punish erring marketers who are sabotaging government's efforts at making petrol available to Nigerians, the minister said the Federal Government was yet to find any evidence against one single individual for sabotage.

"This is a democratic government".

Abiodun said neither the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation nor the independent marketers could be blamed for the recent fuel scarcity.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who went round to monitor situation in the city, reports that although the price is still remained high, motorist now drive into the stations easily to buy fuel.

But the DPR, had accused petroleum marketers of hoarding and diversion of petrol, which fueled the scarcity of the commodity across the country.

"But the greatest hard in Nigeria is that people make allegations but when you ask for evidence even one, everybody now goes back into the safety nets".

They also denied accusations that they were to blame for the scarcity of the product across the country.

The have formed a committee from today's meeting to look into how to solve this fuel problem.

Representatives of the Independent petroleum marketers of Nigeria IPMAN and Depot and petroleum marketers of Nigeria DAPMAN denied reports that the current fuel scarcity was as a result of blackmail by Marketers saying that since October previous year petroleum marketers have been unable to import petrol due to hike in the landing cost of crude.

"There was no hoarding on the part of any marketer".

Although the NNPC is supposed to supply 50 per cent of the products to complement the marketers, no other group is able to import petrol now because of the price. Marketers are your brothers; they are Nigerian citizens; they are businessmen.

The Minister said the 18-month emergency window would boosted with a quick revamp and effective use of the nation's pipeline infrastructure, saying pipeline remains the most reliable means of transporting petroleum products.

While stating that marketers did not hoard fuel contrary to the belief in many quarters, he explained that since the price of crude oil went up as a result of Hurricane Harvey in the United States in September, the marketers could no longer import and sell at a controlled price of N145 per litre.

Chairman, Board of Trustees of Independent Petroleum Marketers As sociation of Nigeria (IPMAN), Aminu Abdulkadir, said today's meeting will afford the opportunity to make full disclosure on ways of augmenting marketers' shortfall so that they can come back to the business of fuel importation.

"For now NNPC is the sole distributor, individual marketers can help and one marketer has been charged 127 million for going against the rules".

MaikantiBaru (left), in a warm handshake with the Chairman, Join Senate and House Committees on Petroleum, Downstream, Senator KabiruMarafa, standing to exchange pleasantries with the GMD from the high table.

"They (government representatives) have also assured us that the refineries are coming on stream with installed capacities".

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